The Bromance Book Club
The Bromance Book Club is great fun – a sweet, easy read spiced with some hilarious scenes. This is the first book in a series featuring a group of Nashville alpha males determined to save their relationships through an outrageous plan – reading romance novels to better understand their wives.
Gavin Scott plays second base for the Nashville Legends. He is having a terrific year – until his wife Thea confesses that she has been faking it in bed. Gavin is angry and moves into the guest room, refusing to speak with Thea for weeks. The way she sees it, this is just one more situation where they are unable to communicate, unable to see each other. She kicks him out and asks for a divorce. Gavin is devastated.
Enter Gavin’s best friend, Del, who’s got a plan to save Gavin’s marriage. He takes Gavin to a secret meeting where Gavin is tossed a book:
“Courting the Countess,” Gavin read slowly. He ground his molars and looked up. “Is this a joke?”
“No,” Del said.
“This is a romance novel… I can’t believe you assholes. My life is falling apart, and you’re making fun of me.”
“I thought the same thing when Malcolm brought me in,” Del said. “But it’s not a joke. Sit down and listen.”
Gavin returned to his chair. “You guys read romance novels?”
“We call them manuals,” the Russian said.
The fellas explain to Gavin that they read romance to learn to “be more comfortable expressing ourselves and to look at things from their [the women in their lives] perspective.” Gavin is not convinced until the others tell their stories of marriages rescued from the abyss, so he decides to take home Courting the Countess and see what he can learn. The book club agrees to coach him as he courts Thea and tries to save his marriage.
Gavin and Thea married three years earlier, after quickly falling in love (and conceiving twin girls). Thea dropped out of art school and immersed herself in motherhood and with the wives and girlfriends of the other team members. It has not been easy for her, what with struggling to keep her own identity and single-parenting while Gavin travels with the team. Thea is done making concessions for others, done changing herself to fit the expectations of a team wife. When Gavin starts to court her after coaching from the book club, she is mad and confused. He gets her to commit to trying again for a few months, until the holidays. She agrees but doesn’t see much hope.
The Bromance Book Club is one of the funniest books I’ve read this year. Turns out it’s pretty hilarious reading about alpha men reading (and studying) romance novels, and the author does a wonderful job writing the scenes with the book club members. Ms. Adams deftly interweaves chapters from Courting the Countess into the story so we get to see Gavin’s reactions to a regency romance and his attempts to mimic some of the hero’s moves. It’s funny stuff.
But there are also some serious sides to the story. Thea and Gavin rushed into marriage and parenthood and Thea was not prepared for the requirements of being a team wife – she didn’t even know how to play baseball. Gavin loves Thea but seems to be fairly oblivious to her struggles, and he has a way to go to be a true partner for her. Thea has issues still lingering from her own broken childhood and has a hard time believing Gavin would rather stay and fight for their marriage than just be free.
The book is not without some flaws. For one, the twins can only be about two-and-a-half and yet, their speech is much more like that of four- or five-year-olds. I was also disappointed that Thea never took responsibility for her part in her and Gavin’s bedroom issues. It’s 2019 and she should have spoken up right away and done some coaching of her own.
Flaws and all, it was still a fun, clever story that I’m delighted to recommend. There are more stories to come from The Bromance Book Club series and I’ll be picking those books up too!
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